A report by the Ministry of Statistics said this is a record high since 1950 and is almost twice the rate at which the overall population grew.
The Director General of the Central Statistical Office said the trend clearly shows that ageing will emerge as a major social challenge in the future, as population ageing is a global phenomenon, as the elderly face problems due to the absence of an assured and enough income to support themselves. Loss of a social role and recognition and non-availability of opportunities for creative and effective use of free time are also becoming a matter of great concern for them.
The state with the highest percentage of elderly is Kerala, and the state with the least number of elderly is Arunachal Pradesh followed by Meghalaya. In contrast ageing economies such as Japan have an age dependency ratio as high as 42, and Belgium has 28.
Experts say ageing economies face the problem of shrinking resources and increasing expenditure.